IN THE MATTER OF THE CHILDREN ACT 1989 AND THE ADOPTION AND CHILDREN ACT 2002
AND IN THE MATTER OF J, A CHILD
B e f o r e :
| A Local Authority
|M, a mother (1)
The Child (through her children's guardian) (2)
Aelred Hookway for the 1st Respondent
James Welch for the 2nd Respondent
Hearing dates: 14 16 March 2018
Crown Copyright ©
The Issues and the Evidence
At the time protective measures were instigated, that is 19 September 2017, the threshold criteria as set out in s.31(2) of the Children Act 1989 were met in respect of the child, J, in that the child would be likely to suffer significant emotional harm, physical harm and neglect and the risk of significant harm was attributable to the level of care given or likely to be given to the child by her mother not being what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give a child by virtue of the following:
1) On a date in 2012 (date redacted) the Court made the following findings in proceedings under case number DP11C00202 relating to J's half siblings:
1. Y had suffered non-accidental injuries and that therefore on the date protective measures were taken Y had suffered significant harm and both children were at risk of suffering significant harm.
2. On a date in 2011 Y was found to have the following bruises:
a) Two small 1x1cm brown/purple bruises across the temporo-parietal region 3cm above the helix of the left ear;b) 1x1cm brown purple bruise with a superficial scratch mark overlying it approximately 1cm left of the lateral canthus of the left eye;c) 1x1cm purple bruise on the right anterior ankle;d) 0.5x0.5cm purple bruise on the right antero-lateral aspect of the leg just below the knee;e) 4.5x1.5cm purple bruise with some yellowing at the edges across the right upper thigh/buttock.
3. All these injuries were non-accidental save the scratch is likely to have been self-inflicted. They would have been caused by blunt injury, a slap, punch or grip and amount to more than one traumatic event. These injuries would have been suffered in the seven days prior to Y being seen at hospital on a date (date redacted) in 2011.
4. Shortly after Y had a CT scan and later an MRI scan. These studies identified three foci of subdural haemorrhage behind the cerebellar hemispheres in the posterior fossa.
5. The subdural haemorrhage was caused by a traumatic event, either an impact or shake, and was therefore non-accidental. This event would have occurred more than seven days prior to the CT scan but it is not possible to say when the earliest possible date for it to have been caused would have been.
6. The injuries Y sustained occurred whilst in the care of the mother and were caused by her.
2) By virtue of the finding that J's half-sibling had suffered non-accidental injuries which occurred whilst in the care of the mother and were caused by her, J would be at risk of suffering physical and emotional harm and neglect if placed in the care of her mother.
3) At the time of intervention, the mother continued to dispute the findings made by the Court that the injuries sustained by J's sibling were non-accidental and caused by the mother. However, the mother has since accepted the findings made by the Court in 2012. The mother's present inability to provide a coherent account as to the events surrounding the injuries and how they occurred places J at risk of physical and emotional harm.